nicholas nicola etchings


Below are prints produced in 2017. Details follow. 




(Fenwick's Theorem). 

6" X 8" . B&W. aquatint. sugarlift. zinc plate. 

 After a few false starts this is the first etching along the theme of Australian landscapes that I am satisfied with although it was not to be predicted that it would turn out this way. A rather curious image which strangely I find satisfying. I am especially pleased with the aquatint which intimate the cosmos. It is based on a sketch of a large rock on a property near Yass (almost threeish hours towards Canberra from Sydney if you take it really easy) which friends graciously invited me to come along for a recent long weekend. I was doing a somewhat normal etching of the rock which was pictorially based on the drawing when as I was burnishing the plate after an initial bite to obtain further texture aspects of an outline started to emerge which corresponded with the shape of this large rock. I became intrigued. I decided to abandon the rock itself and focus on the line, stripping the image away to this essential element, to become a 'modernist image'. I stopped working on the plate and started a new one, focusing on redoing the outline to capture some sort of 'essence' which has - for me - turned out to be somewhat cosmological. I am pleased with the final aquatint texture which to me intimates the cosmos...and then there is this outline as if interrupting deep space etc. Thus this not predicted image truly intrigues me.  It has a philosophical aspect which I think is worthy to further explore. As for the etching's subtitle, well it was the birthday of an old friend when I did this print and simply acknowledging this with this off-beat subtitle. A bit like naming a star in the cosmos after yourself or someone you know. I think it provides this somewhat clinical image with an added dose of humanity. All the best. 

EMERGING UNIVERSE. THREE FATES. (Merryville Rocks. Yass). 

12" X 4". B&W. aquatint. sugarlift. zinc plate. 

This image is based on a series of three sketches that I did on a property I went too with friends which is near Yass. I was with my friends and their daughter and explained I often viewed the natural terrain in cosmological terms. I was taken to these groupings of rocks that seemed to me to be jutting out of the large fields that surrounded them. I have 'collected' the three sketches together and using their outlines have produced this rather high contrast image. I had Robert Motherwell's Elegy to the the Spanish Republic images in mind when envisaging this work with its dramatic black white constrasts. The three fates refer to the Ancient Greek  mythological characters who can shape the destiny of human beings. The Universe and Fate as two overarching influences on the human condition. 


6" X 8" . B&W. aquatint. sugarlift. zinc plate. 
It seems to be that one way to view this print is to perceive the main 'Celestial Pole' in the centre of this work is, like some cosmic tuning work, is emanating rhythmic centrifugal vibrations across the cosmos. Cosmic gravitational waves also come to mind and which help to underpin the existence of the Universe in which we exist and which in the human mind finds a sense of place in an enormous void through the concept of rhythmic celestial poles.


8" X 9.5" B&W. aquatint. sugarlift. zinc plate.

The universe is full of vibrant, dancing energy.


8" X 11.5". B&W. aquatint. sugarlift. zinc plate.

I had thought of titling this print American Labyrinth but that would limit the idea behind this etching to only one empire when all human empires should be referenced for if one notices this labyrinth which is mostly dark with a few light areas which seem to be diminishing leads only to a dark outer edge. Despite any glory that can be associated with an empire eventually there is only an imperial nihilism which sustains it, especially during the process of decline when an empire can be most violent. 


8" X 6". B&W. aquatint. sugarlift. zinc plate.

The Universe could be viewed as a vast mind which from its own internal experiences of explosion and growth can transform like the synapses of the human mind which can also change in a hopefully enriching way from human experience. 


8" X 6". B&W. aquatint. sugarllift.  zinc plate.

This title can reference the natural eroding which occurs in nature or even the psychological diminishing of human nature; although one should consider that new beginnings can emerge from old ends; so from disintegration can also arise regeneration but it may depend on one's resilience and, perhaps, even wisdom.


8" X 6". sepia. aquatint. sugarlift. zinc plate.

A self explanatory title which  one may reflect upon can also reference, perhaps, the ancient idea of fateful choice which can affect one's life directions. For everyone of us can be a multiplicity of paths. 


6" X 4". B & W. aquatint. sugarlift. zinc plate. 

The Universe could be viewed as a vast mind which from its own internal experiences of explosion and growth can transform like the synapses of the human mind which can also change in a hopefully enriching way from human experience. *

* Variation of a theme of an earlier etching with a similiar reference to an organic universe with synapse.


8" X 11.5". B&W. aquatint. sugarlift. zinc plate.


6" X 4". B & W. aquatint. sugarlift. zinc plate.  

SEED OF THE UNIVERSE. (At the beginning of time).

8" X 6" *  B&W. aquatint. sugarlift. drypoint. zinc plate. (*approximate size).


TRINITY (tryptich)

150 mm X 200 mm. B&W & Sepia. aquatint. sugarlift. Three zinc plates. 


8" x 11.5". B&W. aquatint. sugarlift. zinc plate.


8" x 11.5. B&W. aquatint. sugarlift. zinc plate.




NEBULA. Gordons Bay.

11.5 cm X 15 cm. B&W. aquatint. zinc plate


14.5 cm X 14.5 cm. sepia. aquatint. zinc plate


7 cm X  12 cm. sepia. aquatint. zinc plate

* It should be noted that a laser toner transfer was initially experimentally utilized in the production of these three prints which was then built upon with a fair amount of traditional reworking.  The first two prints relied on sketches by the artist while the last image used a photograph by the artist. 


100cm  X  150 mm. B&W. aquatint. sugarift. zinc plate. 


110 X 140 mm. B&W. aquatint. sugarift. zinc plate. 

This print also incorporated the initial use of a laser toner transfer as it is based on a much smaller etching which the plate is now of little use.



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